“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
-Worship is the activity of glorifying God in His presence with our voices and hearts. It is not just singing but everything we do should be geared towards bringing glory to God as a form of worship. Worship is more of a personal experience with God, the more we know God, the better our worship experience. According to the Samaritan’s, mount Gerizim which is near Shechem was believed to be the highest, oldest and most central mountain in the world and they esteemed it as a sacred place of worship. They held their Passover feast there and believed that God was present on the mountain. The Jews worshiped in the Jerusalem temple as per their customs where they felt most secure to worship until the temple was destroyed. They now worship inside the temple courts which is surrounded by a wall as they await the Messiah to come and rebuilt the temple. Some religions believe that God should be worshiped as they face a specific direction, for instance; Muslims face Mecca and specifically to the Ka’abah. Some traditionalist believe that God should be worshiped as they face a certain mountain or under a special tree, for instance; the Mugumo tree. Other religions idolize certain objects or animals as their gods. Like the Jews, some Christians believe that God should only be worshiped in churches or specific sacred places. Since the churches are closed; most of the Christians are stranded and their spirituality remains dead. As we studied last week, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and our bodies are His temples. God is Omnipresent and we are called to worship Him from anywhere and at any time, for the Holy Spirit is a fountain of living water dwelling in us. Jesus’ response to the Samaritan woman reflects the recommended way of worship, saying, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). To worship in spirit, we should first acknowledge that the Holy Spirit dwells in us through the gift of salvation that has been brought to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our hearts then should be engaged fully to God as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Worship in truth should be in true hearts founded on the word of God as we focus on Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Truth can never be found hiding in the darkness, but always seeks to remain in the light. The Light who is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us exposes and makes manifest His truth in our hearts as we fellowship with Him.
We worship You Lord with gladness and come before You with joyful songs. Thank You Abba Father for this day that You have made, we rejoice and are glad in it. You are our only God, our Only Savior, nothing can be compared to You in heaven and on earth. We love You Holy Spirit for You loved us first. We seek to know You and love You more, give us Your hearts, give us Your love. We worship You and praise You; for only You are worthy of our praises, teach us how to always worship You in spirit and in truth. During this season when we are tackling COVID-19; may You pour Your precious blood upon us, our families, friends, all doctors, nurses, churches, our nation and all the nations of the world Jesus; for only Your blood has victory over all things. Help all of us when we do not know how to pray and praise and take charge of our spirits Holy Spirit; so that our sacrifice of praise may be pleasing to You. Be the Light of our lives and help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and all other things You will add unto us. You are the Way, the Truth and the Life Jesus, please allow the whole human race come to know Your salvation. You are Holy Lord; full of glory and righteousness, only You deserve our worship and praises. Amen
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
-Worship in Hebrew and Greek mean to honor, bow down, prostrate oneself and to place high value on someone or something. God cautioned the Israelites from worshiping other gods, which serves as a lesson to the entire human race. Creation of any image or prostrating before other human beings, animals or any objects to worship them is a form of idolatry. King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image and made a decree that all the people must worship it. Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego defied these orders thus preference to be thrown into the furnace of fire for the glory of God. God became their salvation after they were thrown into the furnace of fire and king Nebuchadnezzar evidenced that he could see one like the son of gods, and made a decree that only the Most High God should be worshiped (Daniel 3:1-30). Likewise, during the last days as documented in Revelation 13:14-18, many will be forced to worship the image of the beast and the mark of the beast will be placed on the hand and the forehead, and whoever does not do it will be put to death. Idolatry can also be viewed through exulting images or persons that one places more value to than God. These may be property, vehicles, spouses, children, friends, clients, politicians, leaders, bosses, money, wealth, education, rank, power, private sins etc. We must always remember that the Creator is more important than the creation, and that everything belongs to God. In some occasions we are praised by others for what we have, success, money, power, beauty et cetera, but we should be careful not to receive it but acknowledge God instead. Such instances may lead us to harbor pride in our hearts and eventually fall. We know that pride comes before a fall, and when Satan who was the most anointed cherub, had pride because of his beauty and splendor, he fell (Ezekiel 28:14-17). God is a jealous God and does not share His glory with anyone. Only Him deserves all the glory, power and praise for He created all things and by His will we exist and were created. Those who worship other gods are punished to the third and fourth generations but those who love Him and keep His commandments are loved by Him, and He makes a home with them. When we worship God, we receive His blessings and He takes away sickness, miscarriages, barrenness, shame, defeat from us and gives us victory and a full life span (Exodus 23:24-27).
Only You Lord are worthy of our praises and adoration, only You deserves to be worshiped, receive all the glory and praise. Only You are Holy, only You are Lord, be lifted high in all the heavens and the earth. You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness and will never forsaken us, have mercy on us Lord, forgive us our trespasses together with those of our forefathers, families, leaders, nation and the entire world, and cover us with Your precious blood. Forgive us for any form of idolatry and pride, and remove anything that displeases You from our hearts and minds. All our confidence is in You Lord, receive all the glory and praise. Some trust in horses; others trust in chariots but we put all our trust in You Lord. Some trust in their money, power, wealth, strength, wellness, intellect, spouses, children, cars and buildings, but we put all our trust in You Lord. Some trust in false gods made by human hands, others trust in witchcraft and sorcery, but we put all our trust in You Lord. Help us to love You Abba Father, with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Nothing can separate us from Your love Lord, thank You for loving us with an everlasting love. In You only do we live, move and have our being, we worship You Lord in the splendor of Your holiness and adore You always. Amen
“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
-Angelic experiences were common in the Biblical times; both in the Old and New Testament’s. When Peter had come from prison, a girl named Rhoda went to open the gate and on hearing his voice, she went first to alert the others but they concluded that it was his angel (Acts 12:13-15). It seems like it was not out of ordinary to see someone’s angel, who from this text resemble the person. Apostle Paul implored the people of Hebrew to entertain strangers who by doing so entertain angels (Hebrews 13:2). Due to such angelic visitations and occurrences, some people of Colossae sort to worship angels (Colossians 2:18). In John’s vision, the angel warned him that he was his fellow servant and only God should be worshiped. Angels are available to protect us, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12). Throughout Scriptures, we find angels involved in communicating God’s message as the Spirit of God directed them. Angels also watch us, “for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9). Angels are also available to encourage us as they encouraged Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43). Angels minister unto us, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Angels will be there to help us in paradise as they helped Lazarus, “Jesus said, “So it was that the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). Angels are ministers of God who are available to minister unto us and we should not worship them, but only worship the Lord.
We bow down to worship You and kneel before You Lord our Maker. Only You deserves to be worshiped and praised. May Your word dwell deeper in us that it may never depart from us. Convict us of our sins Holy Spirit by Your grace and make Your judgments known to us. Help us to treasure Your commands within our hearts, and incline our ear to wisdom and apply our heart to understanding. Give us discerning hearts Holy Spirit so that we may only appreciate angelic beings but not worship them. Make Your angels available to us always merciful Father, according to Your purposes for us Your children. Command Your angels Lord to guard us in all our ways and to bear us up, lest we strike our feet against a stone. Only You Lord deserve our worship and praise, teach us to us to seek after Your wisdom and understanding like silver, and search for them as hidden treasures. Fill us with the fear of You so that we may love You and always do Your will. Surround us, our households and nation with Your hedge of fire Holy Spirit and protect us from all evil including corona virus. Bless the work of our hands Jesus and increase us in the land according to Your divine blessings as You promised our father Abraham. Amen
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
-God is merciful and full of kindness. He has called us to be holy because He Himself is Holy. Through His everlasting grace; God has made it possible for us to walk in obedience to His word and always do what is pleasing to Him. We are called to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth, for we died and our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and when Christ who is our life appears, then we will also appear with Him in glory. Therefore we are called to put to death our members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and covetousness which is idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language and lying to one another, since we have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created us (Colossians 3:1-10). Since our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we should ensure that we walk in obedience to His will and submit everything to Him, for we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us. As obedience is better than sacrifice, our bodies should always be living sacrifices to God, holy and pleasing to Him. We are called to draw near to God and He will draw near to us, as we worship Him with our bodies offered in holiness as living sacrifices which is true and proper worship.
We praise You Lord our God for You are good and Your mercies endures forever. You formed our inward parts; and knit us together in our mother’s wombs, we praise You for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works Lord; our souls acknowledge Your wonderful works. Wisdom and power belong to You, great are Oh You Lord of hosts. You change times and seasons but You change not, mighty are You in all the heavens and the earth. You depose kings and raises up others. You give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. You reveal deep and hidden things and know what lies in darkness but only light dwells with You, deliver us Jesus from every form of darkness in our hearts and cleanse us with Your precious blood. May our bodies always be living sacrifices, pleasing to You Holy Spirit. Help us to realize that we are not on our own but You dwell with us and in us. We thank You and praise You, grant us Your wisdom and grace we humbly ask You. We exalt You Lord our God and worship at Your footstool for You are Holy, and none can be compared to You. Grant us the grace to live holy lives pleasing to You Holy Spirit, and may You accept our sacrifices from the deepest parts of our hearts. All glory, power, wisdom and adoration belongs to You Lord, now and forever. Amen
“Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.”
-God calls us to commit all our works to Him and let Him take control of every situation which is a form of worship. When we submit everything to God with sincere hearts and acknowledge Him as the giver of everything, we worship Him as the owner of all things and our thoughts are established. As God blesses us, we are reminded to give to the poor and to His store house for the glory of His name. We are also called to give preeminence to God in everything and let Him take control of our lives, families, work, plans, purposes, nation and everything else so that He may make all the crooked paths straight, and guide us according to His will.
We worship God for only Him deserves to be worshipped. As the Samaritans worshipped on mount Gerizim and Jews in the Jerusalem temple, we cannot constraint God in a specific location for our bodies are His temples. God is not limited by space, time and location for He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. During worship, we should realize that the Holy Spirit who dwells in us becomes rivers of living water and lead us to worship in spirit and in truth. We should then exult God with all our hearts and focus on Him alone so that we may be able to abide in His presence continually. God calls us to walk in holiness so that our bodies may become living sacrifices, pleasing to Him which is true and proper worship. We are called to worship God is all our works and our thoughts will be established. We are also cautioned from worshiping idols and angels for only God should be worshipped. God is the King of kings and all creation in heaven and earth, including the heavenly hosts worships Him. The angels, multitudes and the twenty four elders worship God in heaven for He deserves all the honour and praise. They prostrate themselves continually before God in reverence saying, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:9-11).
You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host. The earth and all that is on it. The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly hosts bow down before You. You are worthy our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things and by Your will they were created and have their being. Deliver us Lord, our families, friends, all medical practitioners, nation and the entire world from COVID-19 and protect us with Your hedge of fire. Give comfort to all those who have lost their loved one and heal all those who are sick merciful Father. Restore all those who have lost their jobs and provide opportunities for those are seeking work. Empower us Holy Spirit to reign on earth according to Your divine will for we are kings and priests to You. Go before us Lord and make all the crooked paths straight. Break all the gates of bronze in pieces and cut the bars of iron. Give us the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places and bless the work of our hands dear Jesus. Lord grant us abundant prosperity in the fruit of our womb, the young of our livestock and the crops of our ground in the land You swore to our ancestors to give us. God open the heavens, the storehouse of Your bounty, to send rain on our land in season and to bless all the work of our hands. We will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. God make us the heads and not the tails. Give us the desire of our hearts and make all our plans succeed. God bless us and keep us, make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us; lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen